National Security Advisor Dr Moeed Yusuf said initial investigations into the recent terrorist attack in Lahore provided concrete evidence of India’s involvement in terrorist activities in Pakistan.
Dr Yusuf said this during a joint press conference with Information and Broadcasting Minister Fawad Chaudhry and Punjab Police Inspector General Inam Ghani on Sunday.
Dr Moeed said the brain and those responsible for the blast were identified through forensic analysis of electronic equipment recovered from terrorists involved in the incident. He said: “We have absolutely no doubt that the main brain behind the explosion is an Indian national, who belongs to the Indian intelligence agency RAW.”
“I want to make sure our message is heard very clearly that this particular incident on June 23 in Lahore, we have concrete evidence and intelligence, including financial and telephone records that point to direct Indian sponsorship of these terrorists.” said Dr Moeed.
Appreciating the effective role of Pakistani agencies in apprehending the culprits involved in the Lahore explosion, Dr Moeed said that immediately after the incident, thousands of attempted cyber attacks against Pakistan’s critical investigation structure were made to distract from police and security agencies to avoid arrest. “Our cybersecurity is strong enough that we have been able to thwart these attempts,” he added.
The adviser said Prime Minister Imran Khan called on his team to use all possible legal and political means to reach people outside Pakistan who are part of this international terrorist network. He said: “We will share all information with the international community and expose the nefarious designs and the real face of our neighborhood state which constantly sponsors terrorism against our innocent civilians.”
Dr Moeed Yusuf urged the international community to stop turning a blind eye to India’s illegal actions and play its legally binding role for the safety of innocent Pakistanis if it truly believes in peace and stability in this region.
The NSA has also said that the Indian “drama” of the drone attack in occupied Indian Kashmir (IOK) is an attempt to distract from the attack on Lahore. “I also want to point out that there has been quite a drama about mysterious drones flying here and there in the IOK. What the logic was now very clear and again with confidence we can say that it was a deflection tactic trying to distract the world’s attention from the fact and they knew at that time that we not only apprehended the culprits, but we knew exactly what it was had been done behind the scenes and who was behind.
The NSA further stated that India was using the territory and inhabitants of “third countries” to core terrorist attacks in Pakistan, although it did not mention these countries by name.
Speaking on the occasion, IGP Inam Ghani said that the Punjab Police, Counterterrorism Department and other law enforcement agencies have successfully investigated the case and brought to light the plan.
He said that Peter Paul David was the hub of the Lahore explosion who is a Pakistani citizen and resides in Karachi. The IGP said Peter Paul David organized the use of the car for the explosion.
Ghani said that Eid Gul, an Afghan refugee, set up the improvised explosive device in the car and drove it from Islamabad to Lahore. He said those involved in the incident tried to escape but due to the rapid action of law enforcement they did not have enough time.
The conversation between the terrorists on the phone was also published during the press conference.
On June 23, a powerful explosion near the residence of the outlawed leader of Jamaatud Dawa Hafiz Saeed in the town of Johar killed three people and injured 24 others, including a police officer.
Separately, Dr Moeed said there were no more back door contacts with India to resume stalled talks between the two nuclear neighbors.
Contacts were dropped because New Delhi took no confidence-building action, mainly reversing its August 2019 ruling on IOK, he said in a conversation with a private news channel.
“It’s over now,” said Dr Moeed, adding that it was New Delhi that approached Islamabad for the resumption of talks.
“It was India who approached us. They (New Delhi) said they wanted to talk about all controversial issues including Kashmir, ”he said without specifying the time and place of the contact.
“We have clearly communicated to them our request, namely the annulment of the decision of August 2019, for the resumption of talks,” he continued.
“Since they [the Indian government] has done nothing [favourable] in this regard, it’s over now, ”he said, anticipating“ no change ”in India’s position on the August 2019 decision.
“India is trapped in the IOK after taking this step. It is in their own interests to reverse it, ”he added.
Commenting on last week’s meeting of pro-Indian Kashmiri politicians with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Moeed said New Delhi had failed even to convince its own allies of the controversial IOK move.
“They [politicians] too openly demanded the revocation of the August 2019 stage and called on Prime Minister Modi to hold talks with Pakistan [over the Kashmir issue], he argued.
On August 5, 2019, the Indian government revoked Article 370 and other related provisions of its constitution, removing the country’s only Muslim majority state with autonomy. It was also divided into two territories administered by the federal government. At the same time, it cordoned off the region, detained thousands of people, imposed movement restrictions and imposed a communications blackout, according to Amnesty International.
Islamabad, in turn, suspended trade relations and degraded diplomatic relations with New Delhi.
Senior intelligence officials from the two nuclear-weapon neighbors reportedly met in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in January to try to stem heightened tensions between the two sides.
In April, UAE Ambassador to the United States Yousef Al Otaiba confirmed that Abu Dhabi is mediating between New Delhi and Islamabad to help establish a “healthy and functional” relationship.
In March, the two armies agreed to honor the 2003 ceasefire along the LoC, followed by an exchange of letters between the two prime ministers, which was widely seen as the result of the diplomacy of the reported backdoor.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan on Sunday called on the world community to mobilize its institutions so that India’s “rogue behavior” can be stopped.
In a message on Twitter, the Prime Minister said that “the planning and financing of this heinous terrorist attack is linked to Indian sponsorship of terrorism against Pakistan”.
“The world community must mobilize international institutions against this rogue behavior,” he urged.
The Prime Minister appreciated the “diligence and speed of the Punjab Police Counterterrorism Department in uncovering the evidence and praised the excellent coordination of all our civilian and military intelligence agencies”.